April murder accused weeps in dock

Herald Series: Five-year-old April Jones went missing in Machynlleth, mid Wales, last Monday Five-year-old April Jones went missing in Machynlleth, mid Wales, last Monday

The former lifeguard accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones has wept in court.

Mark Bridger cried to himself as he confirmed his name, age and address, and that he understood the charges.

Bridger is accused of abducting and murdering April, and of unlawfully disposing of and concealing of her body with intent to pervert the course of justice.

There were angry scenes outside Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court as the police van containing Bridger was punched and kicked while members of the crowd shouted "Scum" and "F****** kill him".

During the four-minute hearing Bridger, who wore a blue jumper, was remanded in custody to appear at Caernarfon Crown Court on Wednesday.

The unshaven 46-year-old did not make eye contact with anyone, but answered "yes" when asked if he had understood each charge. He also confirmed his date of birth as November 6, 1965, and his Mount Pleasant farmhouse address in the village Ceinws.

Neither district crown prosecutor Iwan Jenkins, or John Hedgecoe, defending Bridger, were called on to speak during the brief hearing.

April was last seen near her home on the Bryn-y-Gog estate in the mid-Wales town of Machynlleth last Monday evening. Bridger was arrested the following day, but the search for April's body goes on. The five-year-old was last seen getting into what is believed to have been a Land Rover Discovery last Monday evening.

Her parents Coral Jones, 40, and husband Paul, 44, had allowed her to play out late as a treat after she received a glowing school report that day at a parents' evening which Bridger also attended.

Bridger, who owns a Discovery, was arrested last Tuesday afternoon and was charged on Saturday.

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